A YouTube video has claimed that Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio issued an order reinstating suspended Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag. This is false.
The video uploaded on Nov. 10 and shared on Facebook (FB) carried the headline:
“KAKAPASOK LANG SA WAKAS! VPSARA UMAKSYON NA! GENERAL BANTAG BALIK BUCOR! CATAPANG UMAMIN NA REMULLA (JUST IN FINALLY! VPSARA TOOK ACTION! GENERAL BANTAG BACK TO BUCOR! CATAPANG ALREADY CONFESSED REMULLA).”
The thumbnail, featuring photos of BuCor officer-in-charge Gregorio Catapang Jr., Bantag, Duterte, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, bore the text:
“BANTAG IBABALIK NA. ITO ANG MATINDING UTOS NI VP SARA (BANTAG WILL BE REINSTATED. THIS IS THE INTENSE ORDER OF VP SARA).”
The text “FINISH NA! VP SARA UMAKSYON NA SAWAKAS (IT’S FINISHED! VP SARA TOOK ACTION FINALLY)!” was also shown throughout the video.
This is not true. Duterte-Carpio, who has no authority to reinstate Bantag, has made no statement at all on the case of the suspended BuCor chief, who is a suspect in the murder of broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has served a subpoena against Bantag, BuCor Deputy Officer Ricardo Zulueta and a few other persons in connection with the Mabasa case and ordered them to appear before the DOJ for a preliminary investigation on Nov. 23.
Appointed by former president Rodrigo Duterte in March this year, Bantag was suspended by Marcos last month to give way to an impartial investigation following the death of an inmate who was tagged as the alleged middleman in the killing of Mabasa.
The erroneous video did not show any evidence of its claim on Bantag’s reinstatement. It only talked about Duterte-Carpio becoming the country’s officer-in-charge while Marcos was in Cambodia from Nov. 10 to 13 and netizens wanting her to help Bantag.
The rest of the video contained lawyer Salvador Panelo’s take on the case, a Marcos statement that the investigating bodies have done a “good job” and a Nov. 8 commentary by a vlogger.
Several netizens fell for the false information, with some thanking the vice president for supposedly helping Bantag.
The video uploaded by the previously fact-checked YouTube channel Banat News TV (created on Dec. 26, 2015) garnered 412,875 views. Another YouTube channel XCrew (March 18, 2014) made a reaction video with the same false thumbnail and headline garnering 47,621 views.